Hybrids And Compact Cars Drive Record Sales

Friday, July 21, 2017 - 14:50
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Kia Motors has recorded its best-ever six-month sales period, with European* half-year sales surpassing 250,000 for the first time in the company’s history, with UK sales representing 20 per cent of sales at 50,000 units.

The latest data released today by ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association) shows that Kia sold 251,472 units across Europe during the first six months of the year, a 9.5 per cent rise, year-on-year. In addition, Kia’s cumulative market share climbed to 3.0 per cent, up from 2.8 per cent (229,585 units) during the first half of 2016.

The second quarter of 2017 also represents Kia’s best-ever quarterly sales, with 126,485 units sold (+6.3 per cent compared to Q2 2016, with 118,985 units sold). This is the second time Kia has broken its quarterly sales record this year – between January and March 2017, Kia sold 124,987 units across Europe.

Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Europe, commented: “Our growth has been boosted by new models launched in the last few months, and our growing range of vehicles with electrified powertrains. Alternatively-fuelled vehicles have accounted for 7.5 of our European sales so far this year, up from just one per cent in the first six months of 2016. This trend will continue as we expand our electric and hybrid model line-up, and as consumer demand continues to shift towards advanced powertrains.”

Cole added: “Four Kia models in particular stand out with high sales growth so far this year. The new Rio and Picanto were introduced earlier in 2017, and are both outselling their predecessors. The Niro hybrid crossover proves appeal of a car that uniquely combines an advanced hybrid powertrain with a smart compact crossover design. Sales of the renewed Optima range, with new GT, Sportswagon and Plug-in Hybrid variants, have also been positive, more than doubling sales of the previous model.”

In the UK Sportage continues to dominate sales with 21,573 units sold. The all-new Picanto comes in second with 7,292 units sold, followed by the Rio and Cee’d in third and fourth place.

Seven-fold increase in sales of electrified Kia models

Vehicles with all-electric or electrified powertrains represent the greatest area of growth for Kia sales in Europe. Since the start of 2017, the new Kia Niro hybrid crossover has accounted for 16,002 unit sales, making it Kia’s fifth best-selling European vehicle (after the Picanto, Rio, Sportage and cee’d model family).

In total, electrified and all-electric Kia vehicles accounted for 18,804 unit sales in the first half of 2017, up from 2,398 units from January-to-June in 2016 (more than a seven-fold increase in sales). The Niro was joined by the new Optima Plug-in Hybrid sedan (428 units) and Soul EV (2,272 units).

Hybrid and electric sales are due to grow further throughout the year, as the new Niro Plug-in Hybrid and Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid – with greater all-electric, zero-emissions range from their larger batteries – are due on sale over the summer. These latest models ensure Kia remains on target to achieve its global aim for 2020 – to improve fuel efficiency by 25 per cent compared with 2014 levels.

Two new compact models – the all-new Rio and Picanto – were also launched at the start of the year, with each resulting in greater sales than their predecessors. Combining run-out sales of the old models and those of the new model, Rio sales have grown 15.1 per cent year-on-year (41,139 units), while sales of the A-segment Picanto grew 23.2 per cent year-on-year (to 34,880 units).

Optima sales have also seen an increase, with the creation of the new Sportswagon body style and new powertrain options, including a high-powered GT model, and Plug-in Hybrid variants. Optima sales so far this year stand at 8,371 units, a rise of 153.8 per cent compared to the same period in 2016 when the previous generation was on sale.

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